RPA skills in demand as organizations eye better engagement
Conventional wisdom has it that it is not intuitive for a company to rely on a software program to increase employee and customer loyalty. However, this is exactly what many companies do when they invest in software developers with strong RPA skills.
What skills do these developers have? And how can they create immediate business value in implementing and managing RPA software? Here are some ways a company can evaluate the potential benefits of RPA and identify some potential candidates.
RPA skills required
A developer with strong RPA skills can quickly create robots to perform repetitive tasks that were previously done by humans. These robots can perform tasks around the clock without errors and at a fraction of the cost.
Most organizations’ first foray into RPA development involves invoice processing. The RPA software handles the heavy lifting of bills and offers a “completely digital and remote business experience, no personal requirement,” said Craig Le Clair, vice president, Forrester. “That means RPA bots that collect data, fill out forms, take action to get things done, collect e-signatures, and so on.” said Le Clair.
Companies also want developers with strong RPA skills to improve customer loyalty through enhanced interactive results. RPA can improve the capabilities of chatbots or communication management systems by previously planning and automating slow, error-prone manual activities, said Arthur Villa, senior research director at Gartner. These enhancements can be added quickly when a company has developers who have this advanced RPA knowledge.
“RPA can quickly be used to improve existing employee and customer loyalty systems by connecting them to systems that lack APIs,” said Villa. “Inquiries can be fulfilled faster through automated solutions instead of being restricted by people in the process.”
RPA won’t bring instant rewards just yet
While discussing the potential benefits of an RPA deployment, Villa also cautioned potential companies not to expect process automation to provide an immediate increase in customer or employee engagement.
“Most new RPA customers tend to focus on automating work time, with employee and customer loyalty as secondary benefits,” said Villa. “Only the most discerning RPA customers prioritize employee engagement and customer engagement for their RPA programs.”
However, this does not mean that an organization should turn its focus away from RPA as the main goals will not be achieved immediately. Instead, companies need to be patient. “With the growing interest in supervised RPA (which runs on a user’s desktop), the use of RPA to improve employee retention should accelerate over the next few years,” said Villa.
Advanced RPA knowledge leads to the greatest gains
“RPA can help support work from home, support health monitoring, offload and deploy task automation and resiliency, and lower the costs required to combat recessive pressure,” said Le Clair of Forrester . “Three times as many information workers will work from home all or most of the time, while many companies are adopting ‘hybrid’ models where employees are less likely to come to the office.”
The introduction of new technologies requires new skills. Software developers with traditional skills should leverage RPA technologies such as UiPath Orchestrator, Automation Everywhere, and Blue Prism, and keep an eye out for new vendors entering the automation market.